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Welp, Everyone Is Gonna Be Complaining About Amazon Prime Video Next January

At least Amazon Prime Video is less obscure than Peacock. But still.

The NFL on Wednesday announced its “Thursday Night Football’ exclusive home, Amazon’s Prime Video service, will be the lucky recipient (read: it paid) of an exclusive NFL Wild Card playoff game for the coming season. We do not yet know for which conference. The AFC and NFC Wild Card rounds take place in January; this past season’s Wild Card round came the weekend of January 13, 2024, so let’s assume the Amazon game will be the weekend of January 11, 2025.

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The NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock hosted the NFL’s first-ever streaming-exclusive playoff game on January 13. It did not go over well with NFL fans who did not already have Peacock. Though many grumbled, several million signed up for the streamer in the 72-hour period ahead of the Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs game. The streaming-research firm Antenna found that Peacock nabbed 3 million new paid signups during the window. What’s more: an impressive 71 percent (2.13 million) of them were still around by the end of February, nearly seven weeks after the game. The Peacock game averaged 23 million viewers.

Peacock ended 2023 with 31 million subscribers. We do not have an exact number for Amazon Prime Video, but the overall Prime membership (which includes access to Prime Video, though you can also get the SVOD/AVOD service on its own) crossed 200 million back in spring of 2022, when Jeff Bezos still ran the company.

The Chiefs Wild Card victory (ahead of several more, including another Super Bowl win) on Peacock was the biggest SVOD subscriber-acquisition-moment ever observed by Antenna, which has been studying such data since 2019. (The biggest single day for streaming signups remains Disney+ launch day: 2.5 million signups in 2019.)

The fact is there will be far fewer people to protest Amazon’s exclusive. The streamer already has exclusive rights to the primetime NFL “Thursday Night Football” games. (The NFL does not — and will not —black out broadcast TV carriage in the local markets of the participants.) A playoff game is a far-larger deal than a random weekly game.

Before you cancel those Peacock memberships, its got another pretty premium exclusive game for the 2024 NFL season. Peacock will exclusively stream the Week 1 game in São Paulo, Brazil on Friday, September 6. It will be the NFL’s first-ever regular season game in South America and the first time the league has played a game on Friday night of its opening weekend in more than 50 years. The Philadelphia Eagles are the first team to be announced for the game; their opponent and the kickoff time will be determined later.
 
“As media consumption habits evolve, the NFL continues to work with our partners to put our games on digital platforms where our fans are increasingly spending their time,” said Hans Schroeder, the NFL’s EVP of media distribution. “The viewership success of both ‘Thursday Night Football’ on Prime Video and the historic Wild Card game on Peacock last season are strong indicators our streaming distribution is resonating with our fans.”
 
“It’s exciting for Peacock to exclusively showcase the NFL’s first-ever regular season game in Brazil as part of NBC Sports’ unprecedented presentation of three primetime games on the NFL’s opening weekend,” said Rick Cordella, the president of NBC Sports. “Peacock continues to deliver the best experience in sports streaming, as this game will follow this summer’s Paris Olympics and Paralympics, which will have every event live streamed on the service.”

CLEVELAND, OHIO - DECEMBER 28: A view of the Thursday Night Football logo prior to a game between the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 28, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

We’ll give everyone a chance to get a word in, we suppose.
 
“We are thrilled to bring the excitement of an NFL Wild Card playoff game to Prime Video for the first time,” said Jay Marine, the global head of sports and ads on Prime Video. “Following our first two groundbreaking seasons of ‘Thursday Night Football’ and our first-ever Black Friday Football game, we’re proud to expand our relationship with the league, and we’re looking forward to continuing to innovate for fans this season.”

That everyone? Great. Can we play football now?

 

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